© 2014 Tom Levin. All rights reserved.

DeBary Hall Historic Site

Park Master Plan and Landscape Improvements

Debary Hall is a designated historic landmark of Florida’s upper St. Johns River basin. From 1871 to 1898, Frederick DeBary amassed 9,000 acres of hunting and citrus lands and built an 8,000 square foot mansion and estate compound. Ekistics Design Studio, Inc., in association with R.J. Heisenbottle, Architects, developed a master plan for the remaining six acres surrounding the house, stables and icehouse as part of a Volusia County Park.The objective was to restore the landscape setting for the historical structures and to provide a land use and circulation plan for the property. Planning and design concepts were developed following extensive research and interpretation of historical documents, photos, drawings and maps. Challenges included buffering incompatible existing uses and recreating the sense of the piney woods and citrus groves that no longer exist. Proposed elements include re-introduction of missing accessory structures, natural habitat restorations, citrus grove re-establishment and the replication of the central fountains and garden within a grand circle promenade. The grounds were envisioned to allow for public events and recreational activities while restoring/recreating the grounds to be more historically compatible than existing conditions. Phase 1 construction implementation is scheduled for 2013.